Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Still Enjoying The Goodness of the Garden

Seven years later after beginning this blog I’m still relying on the goodness of the garden to feed myself, my family and friends. In celebration, I’ve decided to revive my blog. Welcome back or welcome for the first time. Whichever category you’re in, this is a place to explore what it’s like to eat from local sources for as much of the year as possible. It’s a pursuit that inspires my creativity while it also encourages healthy eating and hours of rejuvenating garden work.

At this time of year eating seasonally means using the still-growing greens from the garden, staying vigilant to harvest every last tomato and experimenting with our abundance of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I recently gave a bag of Swiss chard to a friend who wanted to try it. Here’s one of my easiest-to-make recipes that uses chard.

      Swiss chard with caramelized onionsIngredients
1 ½ - 2 onions (depending on how much you like onions!)
1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 lb. Swiss chard
½ cup nuts (pine nuts are especially good for this recipe)
¼ cup dried cranberries
balsamic vinegar

1. Slice onions very thinly. Use a mandolin if you like. Melt butter in olive oil in a good-sized skillet. (I like to use a large, cast iron skillet.) Turn the heat to low, add onions. Stir from time-to-time until they are caramelized, approximately 20 minutes. Caramelizing brings out the natural sugars but if you like more sweetness, you can add a little sugar.
2. Toast nuts while onions cook. If you use larger nuts, like walnuts, chop them.
3. Wash then chop the chard. When onions are soft and sweet, add a couple of handfuls of chard at a time. Sprinkle on a little salt and stir until wilted. You can also flick on a little water to help with wilting. Add more chard and repeat until all the chard is wilted and mixed with the onions.
4. Sprinkle on balsamic vinegar. Stir and taste. Add more vinegar to your taste.
5. Top with cranberries and nuts. Serve warm.

You can substitute other greens for the Swiss chard. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a healthy and tasty dish to enjoy one of the gems of the season.

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